Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Coolest sorta Pixies cover ever

A cool video of Frank Black taking to the stage to join the Portland School of Rock kids at their Pixies cover concert. Maybe there is some value in the Guitar Hero/Rock Band juggernaut afterall. Where is my mind?
Stolen from Mark Lewman.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer Mom Visit Pics

My mom seems smaller than I remember.

At Hakone Gardens in Saratoga.

A book, white zinfandel and Salem Lights=a content Gwen.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Two Wheel Tuesday: Lorenzo v. Rossi

You're gonna wanna go full screen on this. The Italian commentary is almost as good as the racing.

Monday, June 01, 2009

That's a pretty good weekend

Mountain Biking
Saturday we did a rare weekend MTB ride in Santa Cruz which included this little episode:

Video and editing by Troy Super D Top Dogious.

We also got some veggie sproutlings at Love Apple Farms which went into the raised beds and hanging tomato basket we finished getting together on Sunday.

A modified Square Foot Gardening bed awaits planting.

Did you know there have been six different 'Peaches' in Peaches and Herb?

I also worked on the potting bench, which looked like this on paper:

...and thankfully looks much better in person...

Potting bench: Still have to finish it, but I'm happy with the progress.

I made a sink out of a bucket that would make MacGyver envious.

Giro d' Italia-ing
Then I watched the last stage of the Giro d' Italia on the RAI, the Italian channel (in Italian!)...after three weeks of racing it all came down to the final stage--a time trial--with only 20 seconds separating Russian Dennis Menchov and Italian Danilo DiLuca. DiLuca came out fighting but in the end it was the cagey Russian who bettered The Killer from Abruzzo despite this dramatic high-speed wipeout in the final kilometer. Nice to have a Grand Tour end in something besides a procession. Bravo!

Did I mention it was a good weekend?

Now if I could just figure out how to sleep!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Makes No Sense at All: Hüsker Dü on Good Company

I wish there were more footage of the grandmas in the audience moshing.
Link courtesy of Eli A. Want Out.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Bands, Beer, Barbarella and Crepes

I met my pal Phil at the Crepe Place in Santa Cruz Sunday and had a few beers...

...while Lucero rocked a sweaty kinda Memphis-influenced straight-up rock and roll...

...and openers Black Joe Lewis killed it James Brown Style...

...simultaneously, Jane Fonda got her space sex freak on in Barbarella on the bar TV...

That's a good night.

Friday, May 15, 2009

...and we're back...

Battered and bruised, but usually no worse for wear, my beloved EXS-600 finally succumbed to my errant boney ass cheek. RIP Good buddy...thanks for (capturing) the memories.

I've been camera-less since a little sit-and-crunch incident with my trusty digital camera back in March, but last night I stopped at the Fry's sleeper cell in Campbell and got a new one. The larger-screened, more feature-laden, higher megapixely and, incidentally, cheaper EX-S5. I'm hoping I come to like it as much as it's mango-hued predecessor. Here's a picture of it and some test shots from this AM:

The macro setting seems to like the wisteria, but then again who doesn't?

This is a wood carving someone did of our former neighbor cat Lupe. I think it says she's wanted for the murder of birds and other small animals. I miss the Lupe.

So far, so good...many more pics to come!

The new Casio EX-S5 at about actual size, on my screen anyway.

Too coincidental

I have to admit I harbor a loathesome contempt for Pearl Jam. Despite being from my hometown, I could never get past Eddie's mouth-full-of-shit vocals. When he did the soundtrack for 'Into the Wild' a couple years ago and actually started singing, well, I relented a bit. And maybe I've grown a little less snobbish about things--but probably not...I still can't listen to 'Ten' without wretching.

Anyway, he covered an obscure song called "Big Hard Sun" by Indio for 'Into the Wild' that I'd come to like back in my college DJ days...so I had to give him props for that...and the rest of that album is pretty OK too. On his (or Pearl Jam's) latest vinyl 7" release--a 2008 Christmastime single that shipped out this week--he covers John Doe's "The Golden State" with Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney--the original of which I just put on a mix for a friend a couple weeks ago, which seems too much of a coincidence, particularly on the flipside of a song called 'Santa Cruz'...which would make a perfect soundtrack for my thoughts as I pedaled my bike over the hill from San Jose this morning on Bike to Work Day. Add to that blog mistress Heather Browne's musings on coming over the Hill (I know, I know--Valley Go Home) and it all seems too much of a coincidence. Not to mention the fact that half the Santa Cruz Skateboards logo is on the record sleeve.

But blah, blah, blah....you can listen to both songs here on Heather's excellent music blog I am Fuel, You Are Friends which takes its title, incidentally, from a Pearl Jam lyric.

Friday, May 08, 2009


I know this may seem 'SO last month'--old people stop me on the street and ask me if I've heard of Danny MacAskill as I slip a pedal and gouge my shin (again). But I just can't not post it as I'm sure I account for fully one half of the 4.3 million views. And this coming from a guy who can watch about 15 minutes of a New World Disorder video before I'm numb to it, amazing as it all is.

I love the style, creativity, photography and music. Inspiring indeed.

(And yes I am well aware of how extra weak it makes the below video look).

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

Aural Warning: Lucero Commeth

One of my favorite musical discoveries over the past couple years has been this here band from Memphis.

They're on tour and coming to a venue near you and you should see them.

Here's the sched for NorCal locals. I plan to be at the SC show:

May 16 2009 8:00P Slims - San Francisco, California
May 17 2009 8:00P Rio - Santa Cruz, California

Other Lucero links of note:
Lucero's MySpace
Lucero on I Am Fuel, You Are friends

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I Heart the Dentist

I've always held a fervent disdain for dentistry, thinking it one of the worst sorts of torture apart from, you know, real torture. This morning, in the chair, I realized the error of my ways. You see, the Abba song "Dancing Queen" came up on the satellite radio in my dentist's office just before he commenced a Sarah Palin-in-ANWR on my cavity. It was at this very moment I realized the sound of bone removal by power tool--its vibrations echoing through my skull--is actually quite pleasant and preferable to that of the Swedish pop band.

All a matter of perspective.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Sheer Dramatic Pain of Overly Long and Ostentatious Band Names is Only Mitigated by a Really Good Fucking Record

Name aside, I'm really digging the '80's shoegazer meets Bowie, Love and Rockets, and Smithyness of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart.

What is your f-ing malfunction?!

It’s been a rough few weeks, dear reader, on the technological front. And by rough I mean frustrating, really. On the first day of a week-and-a-half long business trip, my computer basically took a shit on me. I couldn’t get online, functionality diminished and my little laptop actually looked a little pale. The IT guys told me it caught a virus or had worms or the gout or something and they needed to clean its clock and reformat it. I WAS able to get all my files onto our server, but reformatting a computer and getting it running the way you want with the programs you want kinda sucks. And, truth to tell, I think the little guy may still be a little sick, but work piles up like a mo’fo I’ve learned and I don’t have time for a virus right now, so I'm runnin' and gunnin come what may.

On top of that I sat on my camera and broke it. During week one of said trip, after a long day on Capitol Hill in DC, my lobbying companions and I decided to take a break outside between appointments. Not wanting to get the ass of my nice suit pants dirty, I brilliantly used my document bag as a buffer and sat on it, forgetting I stowed my camera there for the security screening. Hmmm what was that little snap I just heard? Oh yeah, the sound of $250 being compacted into nothingness.

So without computer and without camera, I’m essentially useless, I’ve learned. Maybe I’m useless with them too…In any case, I hope to rectify the situation soon and commence blathering directly.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Every now and then, justice prevails

So there I was sitting at the intersection on my bike…a crap crossroads really. A pretty big highway ends and intersects a busy street that’s overrun with motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists. A traffic engineering clusterfuck that’s exacerbated by the light’s long interval, which seems to bring out impatience in even the laid-back-peace-sticker-on-my-biodiesel-Volvo-Santa-Cruz-hippie-types. Even more affected by this traffic-induced time loss are people on the other end of the spectrum—the ones whom are dickheads as a matter of course. They wake up dick nasty, dick the day away and go to sleep in the same dickish manner.

Light green, I proceed forward...but about half way through the intersection, the hair on the back of my neck pulls a “Danger Will Robinson.” For to the right and rear—a space where sound should only be receding by virtue of a mandatory right turn—I feel the approaching Doppler effect of an undermuffled and over-tired bromobile. A peek toward the sound confirms my suspicions and a lifted dickhead wagon—complete with custom laser-cut skull grille—comes flying by in a non-lane then swerves left, cutting me and a steady line of cars off to take his rightful place at the front (see drawing).

To be clear, I actually never felt in danger nor threatened. He passed me on the right with plenty of space and cut in far enough ahead that I could’ve stopped if I needed to. Mostly I was just disappointed that said vehicle—which I believe at one time was a Jeep Grand Cherokee—didn’t have fake gonads hanging from its trailer hitch. The truth is, I keep an ear/eye out for this move as I’ve actually been passed at this same spot in similar manner on a number occasions. Usually, it’s a tourist looking to go up Highway 9 to the state park who got in the wrong lane, are apologetic, confused and use their signal as they give that ThanksI’mReallySorry wave as they peaceably merge. Today’s occasion was just a middle finger all the way around.

Predictably, this afternoon’s maneuver elicited a chorus of car horns…at least two, maybe three--it was the kind of thing where even people in the other direction honked. I joined in by switching gears emphatically—take THAT!—making what I hoped would be a perceptible clickety-clack of outrage towards the driver. This was drowned out by the rumble of a motorcycle from the left…a white and black motorcycle that made me smile.

“Fuck man,” I heard the driver say to the passenger as the penismobile pulled over. “Fuck man indeed,” I thought as the blue and red lights bounced off the brogo covered rear window like the flashing cherry on top of a caramel sundae of a lunch ride.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Coraline: A dark but great escape

I give it six stars and we saw it in 3D, so I guess that's 18 stars total. The official website is pretty f-ing cool too.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009

RIP Touch and Go

Sad news about prolly my favorite record label ever.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Scantastic #1

My college (and current) friends Chris and Joe have gone on a scanning streak as of late, digitizing numerous photos from our bygone early 1990's era. Here are five of them:

1. Joe and Todd's Apartment - Chicago

The doorway between the minivan and the car was the entry to the storefront apartment Joe shared with Todd at the intersection of Grand and Ogden. We spent alot of time drinking and playing ping-pong in its 1,200 square foot space. It had no interior walls except for Todd's massive record collection and the bathroom. At one point someone slept in a tent inside--John Maybe? On Google Maps, the building looks essentially unchanged, though the left adjacent biker bar is larger.

2. DB in Joe and Todd's Apartment - Chicago

This is the incomparable Dan Berry presumably speaking Fake Italian. Note Joe's bitchin' flute lamp in the background.

3. Indiana Beach State Dunes - Chesterton, Indiana

Here is someone's feet at Indiana Dunes State Park...Chris' I'd guess. Sweet, tight jean shorts.

4. Kettle Moraine State Forest - LaGrange, Wisconsin

This is Joe and I at the Kettle Moraine State Forest in Wisconsin on the first day of hunting season when you probably shouldn't be riding vaguely deer-shaped mountain bikes amongst drunken hunters. We did anyway.

5. Whitten Hall, Illinois State University - Normal, Illinois

This is me attempting to put Toonces the Illegal Dorm Cat into someone's CD player. I was unsuccessful and the kitten was unhurt. Sweet EQ, huh?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Foto Philler

Just back from the moto tradeshow in Indy and have very little in the way of cool photos...so I thought I'd post some random nothing shots from my camera's memory card which now, inexplicably, seems to have a virus...anywho...

Beer sign lamp from a bar in Indy. Unfortunately they no longer sell the brand.

These are limes.

A hinge on the table edge.

Ice in the fountain.

Mom's homemade ravioli.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Racking up Blackie Onassis

My good friends at Electra Bikes were kind enough to hook me up with some new accessories for my trusty cruiser bike recently. Named Blackie Onassis--for the Urge Overkill drummer whose stage name is presumably an homage to the former first lady--my cruiser was at one time a bare-bones exercise--a coaster brake single speed in flat black aluminum. Cargo demands led me to add a basket to her, which while functional, never looked nor felt quite right.

Now with the addition of the alloy and wood front cargo tray and the matching wide rear rack, Blackie has been made cargo-worthy, while still retaining it's lo-profile black sleekness. And while my initial cargo hauls have been modest, I'm thinking I can carry three or four six-packs...a paltry capacity by Dutch standards perhaps, but not bad for the U-S-of-A. I'm sure it will be more than adequate for my forays to the library, hardware store, bagel shop and Walgreens.

Big thanks to Chris and Justin and those guys with the funny names down there in Vista, CA making some of the coolest bikes on the planet.